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Old 13-02-2019   #1
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Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

More a rant than anything. My two closest dealerships, both different companies, are just awful. They couldn't diagnose a cold, let alone any vehicle faults.

I've had a long list of gripes that both dealerships are not able/capable of fixing. They have even said that there is nothing wrong with my car - but I am absolutely certain there are issues - I have direct comparisons with other 500Xs. The latest drama with a garage that shall go unnamed until I get my car back goes something like this:

1. Booked in on 17 January for 7 February, with a courtesy car agreed. Agreed at the time that I'd drop off last thing on 6 February.

2. Received a phone call, whilst en route to them, saying that they want to cancel the booking as they have no courtesy cars available. I stated that I was on the motorway, on my way and that they agreed to this when I booked weeks ago. They said to come in anyway and gave me a courtesy car. A lipstick red 500 which I hate. I was promised a call on afternoon of 7 Feb. No call received, so I phoned 30 minutes before closing and told that they could not find any fault codes. So it had been there all day and all they did was shove a diagnostic machine on it. Promised a call by the end of the 8th, or Monday 11th if I don't hear anything on the 8th.

3. No call on the 8th, no call on the 11th. So I called 90 minutes before closing on the 11th and told that the service department is busy and not taking calls. I left a message and was promised a call back that day. No call.

4. No call on 12th.

5. Called today (13th) at lunchtime and I was told that the codes they found they were having trouble diagnosing?! So they found codes now? But then I was told that the engineer was sick on Tuesday and that I would get a call by the end of the day as he was back. I was sarcastic and asked whether this would actually happen this time? I was promised a call by the end of the day. So basically, they have had my car a week and all they have done is shove a diagnostic terminal on it, lied to me about fault codes and blamed 4 days of idleness on one day of sickness.

Will update as I go along, I am sure, and I will name the garages when my car is not entrusted to them! What is even more frustrating is that I have given each garage written lists of the issues. I literally go above and beyond to help them. And what's more, they charge a daily rate for courtesy cars!
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Old 13-02-2019   #2
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

My dealer advised a new throttle body at 432 +vat and fitting on top of that as I had a MAF sensor problem/codes, they advised the maf sensor was in the throttle body. The car doesn't have a maf sensor. posted my problem on here and after following advice it seems fixed with a 5 tin of carb cleaner, cleaned carb and Map sensor and not had any problems for over a week now. There is more knowledge on here than in most dealerships and you're more likely to find a result here. Post in relevant section you're problems, but also search as most problems affect other fiat models and you may find the answer there. Good luck
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Old 13-02-2019   #3
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

From what I have seen from Fiat main dealers they seem to employ young kids with presumably no experience working on cars,I would assume this is to maximise the profit made by the dealership by paying a younger person less money.Took my wife's punto evo to main dealer because it had multiple failures and I had already diagnosed a problem with airbag ECU or software because I borrowed a snap on scanner from the garage down the road from me,when I rang up they said they weren't sure what the problem was so they rang fiat who said its 99 percent certain it's the air bag ECU but while it was in the garage the mot ran out so I gave them the go ahead to do the mot at the same time,the main dealer insisted on sending me a video health check on the underside of the car which I didn't want but they insisted I would have to have it sent by e mail so I agreed,however as it was e mailed to my work pc I didn't get round to watching it untill a week after we got the car back with new ECU and brand new mot,upon watching the video I was horrified to see one of the rear shock absorber was clearly leaking and the master mechanic who sounded like he had just left school pointed to the shock absorber and said it was in good serviceable condition , unbelievable,I made an official complaint to the garage and told them the car should never have passed an mot but they would not under any circumstances admit they had made a mistake and asked me to bring the car back,they said without admitting any liability if the shock absorber was found to be faulty it would be replaced at there expense without any cost to me ,so I took the car back and they took me into the garage and put it up on a ramp as I watched and a guy took a look and said take a seat in the reception while we fit a new shock absorber,it's leaking,I asked the guy what on earth did you think the wet patch was and his reply we thought it got wet when we gave the car free courtesy wash ! So what the was trying to say it's they washed the car before they gave it an mot ,yeah right ,no way would he admit they made a mistake.
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Old 14-02-2019   #4
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

This appears to be an industry-wide problem - many manufacturers have the complaints about poor main dealers, particularly with aftersales. The difference with Fiat is that Fiat UK have seemingly little in the way of tangible minimum standards, so whether a dealership chooses to be good or awful is largely up to them - with some other brands you get an impression that these things are monitored more carefully and consistently.

That said there are some good Fiat dealers, though they usually seem to be the smaller chains or family owned outfits. A few that spring to mind from good personal experience or a wealth of positive feedback would include:

Piccadilly Motors (Wakefield & Knaresborough, Yorkshire) - Personal experience
Forward Auto's (St Helens, Merseyside) - Recommendation
Rockingham Cars (Corby & Rushden, Northamptonshire) - Recommendation
Grays Garage (Warwick) - Personal experience
Pewsham Garages (Chippenham, Wiltshire) - Personal experience
LC Motors (Newport & Cwmbran, South Wales) - Recommendation

There are some decent larger chains too - I had decent service from Johnsons in Solihull too - but staff tend to change more readily in some larger chains so the people responsible for great service one year may not be there the next.
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Old 14-02-2019   #5
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Quote Originally Posted by JTD_Liam View Post
This appears to be an industry-wide problem - many manufacturers have the complaints about poor main dealers, particularly with aftersales. The difference with Fiat is that Fiat UK have seemingly little in the way of tangible minimum standards, so whether a dealership chooses to be good or awful is largely up to them - with some other brands you get an impression that these things are monitored more carefully and consistently.

That said there are some good Fiat dealers, though they usually seem to be the smaller chains or family owned outfits. A few that spring to mind from good personal experience or a wealth of positive feedback would include:

Piccadilly Motors (Wakefield & Knaresborough, Yorkshire) - Personal experience
Forward Auto's (St Helens, Merseyside) - Recommendation
Rockingham Cars (Corby & Rushden, Northamptonshire) - Recommendation
Grays Garage (Warwick) - Personal experience
Pewsham Garages (Chippenham, Wiltshire) - Personal experience
LC Motors (Newport & Cwmbran, South Wales) - Recommendation

There are some decent larger chains too - I had decent service from Johnsons in Solihull too - but staff tend to change more readily in some larger chains so the people responsible for great service one year may not be there the next.
Can vouch for Gray's of Warwick also.

My local Fiat dealership (Redditch) are useless, even when you give them the part code you want etc. they still get it wrong.
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Old 11-04-2019   #6
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

The drama went on and I can't be bothered to go over it all. I'll leave it as this, FIAT Parkside in Hounslow and Thames FIAT in Slough have had me running round for well over a year between them. Both were incompetent to the degree that they couldn't diagnose a battery fault and engine mount completely disintegrated. Both of these were spotted instantly by a third dealership who replaced both under warranty.

In addition, Thames were particularly aggressive and left me getting frustrated with them. They also wanted to replace the entire door trims on the driver's side at the cost of a few hundred quid, that the third dealer fixed as part of the service/warranty (door adjustment).

TLR - avoid FIAT in Slough and Hounslow.
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Old 14-04-2019   #7
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

So now is your time to strike back and hard!

Get straight onto Fiat Customer Service about the dealers you have had issues with.

Make it clear the pain and agro you went through, time, petrol cost and inconvenience involved etc.

Your trump card is that the dealer who fix the problem(s) under warranty did what the other dealers could not. Fiat should be able to reference your specific warranty claim for the issues that the other dealers could not fix.

There are dealers out there that are good and try hard but there is a shed load of poor performers and these poor performers need some serious ass kicking from Fiat UK.

All comes down to money. Fiat want good quality dealers otherwise they sell nothing. Poor performing dealers damage the brand and brand revenue so we have to make sure Fiat UK are fully aware and this includes your perfectly (if proven/justified as is the case here) entitled right to slag off in public a poor dealer.

Does make me very angry having been a loyal Fiat customer of 48 years standing to still find that rubbish dealers still damage the Fiat brand.
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Old 14-04-2019   #8
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

I've chopped in the 500X now, so not much point in pursuing with FIAT. Slough did apparently raise a case with FIAT themselves but it clearly made no difference. And for balance, the more effective dealership was Bishops Guildford (which is also the place that sold it to mem so maybe not entirely effective!). Their practice with courtesy cars is as dodgy as can be, but they have some nice cars to lend you! I have had a Giulia, a MiTo with that awful lawnmower engine, a Tipo and an ordinary 500. So from the driving lots of cars perspective, it's great!
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Old 04-05-2019   #9
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

My mother bought her Panda from Norris Brothers in Tamworth.

That was at least 10 years ago, but they treated her really well and were always good with servicing. I would recommend them even now.

However, JCS Kegworth were frankly crap with her previous car failing to find simple problems and costing loads into the bargain.
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Old 11-05-2019   #10
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Grays of Warwick have a good reputation.

Down by me (north of Newbury) it is all multifranchise.

But Cardiff/Newport have a FIAT dealer each...and far more panda : grande out on the local roads.


I got my twinair serviced at A FORMER FIAT place in ox12 area.. but new owners have not exactly filled me with confidence.


The search continues..
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Old 11-05-2019   #11
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Hopefully electric cars will put an end to poor diagnosis etc
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Old 11-05-2019   #12
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Some really disturbing stories there. Of no help to anyone,but I have a trusted mobile mechanic that I call when I'm stuck. He will come to where I'm working at that time, a real bonus for me. Even when he's busy, I go to a place in a small industrial estate where I can get codes read & advise, sometimes I get lucky & the problem is rectified. Post code lottery plays a part on how things go. Up here it's no hiding place, the cowboys get flushed out pretty quickly. Even a relatively difficult job doesn't require a long wait when you know where to go & lay the right sort of paper in their hands.
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Old 11-05-2019   #13
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Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeDamper View Post
Hopefully electric cars will put an end to poor diagnosis etc
In time..

But the codes may still point to a specific fault.. generated by a range of scenarios..

Car parts roulette again.

Battery overheating..as a prime example.
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Old 12-05-2019   #14
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Desira Norwich strikes again, mrs wanted an abarth and after looking everywhere they were the only ones with a decent car. Now 12 days on still waiting to get it. The paperwork isn't even on site til Monday, I've been asking for this for over a week, but to lazy to get it from another branch 20 miles away, or even bother to phone and get document number.
All the work was done they said and was waiting for decals to be renewed, then decals done friday now saying they are waiting for a part, although on Monday they said all work was done. This part is arriving Saturday and being fitted tomorrow I hope. Taken them 2 weeks to sort a car out, thank God theres a fiat/alfa specialist nearby I can use from now on. Will not be using them again, which means the 595 I want will not be coming from there.
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Old 12-05-2019   #15
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Re: Is there such a thing as a decent FIAT dealership?

Quote Originally Posted by JTD_Liam View Post
This appears to be an industry-wide problem - many manufacturers have the complaints about poor main dealers, particularly with aftersales. The difference with Fiat is that Fiat UK have seemingly little in the way of tangible minimum standards, so whether a dealership chooses to be good or awful is largely up to them - with some other brands you get an impression that these things are monitored more carefully and consistently.

That said there are some good Fiat dealers, though they usually seem to be the smaller chains or family owned outfits. A few that spring to mind from good personal experience or a wealth of positive feedback would include:

Piccadilly Motors (Wakefield & Knaresborough, Yorkshire) - Personal experience
Forward Auto's (St Helens, Merseyside) - Recommendation
Rockingham Cars (Corby & Rushden, Northamptonshire) - Recommendation
Grays Garage (Warwick) - Personal experience
Pewsham Garages (Chippenham, Wiltshire) - Personal experience
LC Motors (Newport & Cwmbran, South Wales) - Recommendation

There are some decent larger chains too - I had decent service from Johnsons in Solihull too - but staff tend to change more readily in some larger chains so the people responsible for great service one year may not be there the next.
Family members had bad experience with picadily fiat with a 500l
Still original warranty start and stop never worked all time they had it went in 4 time's kept saying no faults found
Even though start and stop didn't work still
Then took it it for rear boot wouldn't unlock faults codes showing on body computer for it
Still said no faults found despite the fact it wouldn't unlock still that with the handle switch key fob or direct from the computer and got charged for diagnostic at 100 (while under warranty)
When shown this evidence direct to them they said it must be the handle @300 plus fitting and vat

It clearly wasn't the handle switch as it would still work off the key fob

Turned out to be the latch mechanism and got corruded by water ingress 25 for a new switch and it works perfect
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